A rare Irish silver Freedom Box, engraved with the coat of arms of the city of Londonderry, in Northern Ireland. Freedom boxes are typically Irish, and were used as presentation pieces to distinguished non- residents who received the honorary freedom of the city (Bennett, Collecting Irish Silver). Example from Dublin, Youghal, Limerick and Cork are known (Bennett), Londonderry is rare. The coat of arms includes a skeleton sitting on a hill, with a turreted castle, and the George Cross and dagger of London above. The skeleton is thought to represent starvation during the great siege. The city motto "Vita Veritas Victoria" (Life, Truth, Victory) is engraved below. The engraving quality is superb, with delicate flowers and chased C scrolls. The decorated lid is a separate panel that has been set into a presumably plain table snuff box. The box has a curved thumbpull for easy opening, and is gilded interior and exterior, with exception of the base. The only hallmarks present are the makers mark (struck twice, on ...
A rare Irish provincial silver toddy ladle made in Cork, but hallmarked in Dublin. The ladle is circular with a lip for pouring, and has a whale bone handle. The ladle is beautifully decorated, with embossed flowers, leaves and scrolls, on a stippled background. The pouring lip is decorated with a "sunburst" collar. The decoration is typical of the Irish silver of the 1820 period, with floral repousse (embossing) on a background stippled to a matt finish (Bennett, Collecting Irish Silver, pg 79). The whalebone handle is 4 sided, and has an unusual knop end, the circular knob set above silver banded decoration. The hallmarks are all very clear, including makers mark PG in oval outline (Cork mark no. 80 in Bennett).
The Dublin Goldsmiths company passed an act in 1807 requiring the Kings head to be stamped on all plate made in Ireland. As this could only be done in Dublin, it forced the provincial goldsmiths to start sending silver to Dublin for hallmarking. Garde, who worked in Cork between 1812 and 1845, appe...
An Irish silver wine label engraved CLARET, made by Benjamin Taitt in Dublin circa 1785. The label has a curved rectangular shape, with an attractive bright cut and wiggle work border, and original chain. This particular form of label is uniquely Irish, English examples of this type curved up, only Irish labels curve down. The Claret engraving is quirky, done by hand and rougher than London examples of the time. The hallmarks are excellent, and include makers mark BT in a serrated oblong, harp crowned in a irregular shaped punch (so pre 1786) and Hibernia in an oval punch (used before 1793). A very similar label, also by Taitt, is depicted in the book Wine Labels 1730-2003, pg 279, figure 927, for W-WINE, described as circa 1785-1790 so the dates match. The same book describes Taitt as "arguably the most innovative of Irish wine label makers, a particularly successful exponent of bright-cut engraving". He made the famous balloon label, only one of which is known, pg 82, and he worked between 1775 and 1800.
A set of 6 Irish Georgian silver dessert spoons in the Fiddle pattern, made by Samuel Neville of Dublin in 1804. The spoons have no initials or engraving, and no signs of removal. All 6 spoons have good hallmarks, makers mark SN for Samuel Neville (struck both ways). They also have Hibernia and Harp Crowned, and date letter H for 1804 (note absence of duty mark, only introduced in Ireland in 1807). Samuel Neville worked between 1795 and 1851, he was a respected member of the community, he was Warden between 1804 and 1807 and was also elected to the Dublin City Council in 1807. He was Master in 1807 and 1827.
A set of 6 Irish silver dessert spoons, in the Fiddle pattern with rat-tails, a feature of Irish flatware of the period. The spoons have original owners engraved initials WMH. The hallmarks on all 6 are excellent, and include makers mark IB for James Brady, who worked between 1821 and 1842. The spoons also have the retailer's mark, NEILL, which is very clear on all the spoons. Irish retailers were among the first to mark flatware, early adopters of corporate branding. NEILL was a leading Belfast retailer, first established by Robert Neill in 1803, the firm survived until 1960.
A set of 4 Irish Georgian silver tablespoons in the Fiddle pattern, made by Samuel Neville of Dublin. The spoons have no initials or engraving, and no signs of removal. The hallmarks on all 4 spoons are excellent, all individually struck. They include makers mark SN, Hibernia, Crowned Harp and date letter I for 1805. Samuel Neville worked between 1795 and 1851, he was a respected member of the community, he was Warden between 1804 and 1807 and was also elected to the Dublin City Council in 1807. He was Master in 1807 and 1827.
A 9 carat gold and green enamel sweetheart brooch, for the Irish regiment the Royal Ulster Rifles. The brooch has the regimental crest of Irish winged harp below Royal crown, and motto " Quis Separabit" (Who shall separate us). It also has a shamrock and hunting horn below the harp, the detail is lovely, this is a very good quality brooch. It is mounted on original gold brooch safety pin, which is in perfect working order. It is stamped with 9CT indicating it is 9 carat gold. The original leather box with gold trim is also lovely and well preserved, even the silk lining is still good. It is marked "W.P. Lewis & Co, Goldsmiths, Successors to Pim Bros Ltd, 19 Exchequer St, Dublin", the original retailer. The Royal Ulster Rifles also served in the Anglo Boer War, so this brooch could be older than our World War 1 date, as sweetheart brooches were also popular then. As this is a high quality gold brooch, it probably would have been presented by an officer. The Royal Ulster Rifles have won 7 Victoria Crosses, 4 in...
An interesting early Georgian Irish Hanoverian tablespoon, made by Alexander Richards in Dublin 1764. The spoon has a frontal rib, strong turn-up and a very narrow oval bowl. It is engraved with a Griffin crest on the back of the spoon, showing this spoon was placed on the table bowl down. The spoon is bottom marked, the date letter is very clear, but the makers mark , crowned harp and Hibernia are are worn, but still discernable. Alexander Richards, a noted Irish spoonmaker, worked between 1724 and 1768 (Bennett, Irish Silver, pg 152).
An interesting Irish Silver dish commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising (Irish: Eiri Amach na Casca), also known as the Easter Rebellion or Sinn Fein Rebellion. The dish is circular with a scalloped edge, and contains a sterling silver medallion, with the burning Post Office "AIS EIRI na CASCA", 1916-1966. The back contains 7 signatures who were the signatories of the proclamation, all were executed by the British. They include: Tom Clark, Sean MacDermott, Thomas MacDonagh, Padraig Pearse, Eamon Ceannt, James Connolly, Joseph Plunkett. All were members of the Supreme Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). Their graves in the former military prison of Arbour Hill in Dublin is now a National Monument. The dish has 5 hallmarks in the bowl, including maker's mark RISL for Royal Irish Silver Limited, Hibernia, Harp Crowned, date letter Y and the Sword of Light 1916-1966 Jubilee mark, only used in 1966 to celebrate the anniversary. The medallion is also hallmarked, including mak...
A lovely Irish soup ladle in the Fiddle pattern, with an attractive, naive tulip crest. The handle is beautifully curved, so much that the top of the handle is at right angles to the bowl, which makes holding this ladle a pleasure. The bowl, which is quite large, is shaped with high edges which assists pouring the soup out of the ladle. The hallmarks are very clear. Sawyer worked from Fishamble Street from 1797 - 1812, when he died - meaning this ladle was one of his last works.
A pair of Georgian Irish silver serving spoons, made by William Ward of Dublin. The spoons are Fiddle pattern, we have described them as serving spoons as they are noticeably larger than tablespoons, very suitable for use as serving spoons. The spoons both have an interesting engraved family crest, a hand above heart, this is well engraved. The hallmarks are clear on both spoons, makers mark W.W (mark 580 in Irish Silver by Douglas Bennett, page 180), date letter I for 1805, and Hibernia and Harp Crowned in rectangular punches with canted corners. Note the absence of a duty mark, which only came into use in 1807 in Ireland. William Ward was a noted spoonmaker, he was freed in 1774 and died in 1822.
A commemorative Irish silver caddy spoon, with the Gleninsheen collar handle and rounded square bowl, made to commemorate Ireland's entry into the E.E.C (European Economic Community). The original Gleninsheen collar is a gorget or neck ornament made from a sheet of pure gold, dating back to approximately 700 BC, it was dicovered by a farmer in 1932 in County Clare near the Gleninsheen wedge tombs, it is now in the National Museum. The collar has also featured on Irish stamps, and has been included in the book "The History of Ireland in 100 Objects" (which we can recommend). The caddy spoon also has the Gleninsheen Collar hallmark, which was only used in 1973. All the hallmarks are are well struck and very clear with no wear. An identical spoon was also part of the John Norie collection (lot 7, Part 1 of John Norie Collection of Caddy Spoons, Woolley & Wallis, April 2004). This spoon also features in the Pearson Silver Collection of post war British silver (www.pearsoncollection.com).
A beautiful Irish Georgian silver sugar tongs, with bright cut engraving, Irish "Star" and shell style bowl. The tongs also have a well engraved Lions head family crest in one of the cartouches on the side. No initials are engraved on the bow. The tongs are very good quality, as you would expect from Irish Georgian silver. The tongs have 3 hallmarks, crowned harp for Dublin in rectangular punch with cut corners (used 1793-1809), makers mark JD in script in oval punch, and Hibernian duty mark. No date letter is present, as is usual on Georgian silver tongs (Hodges, Georgian Silver Sugar Tongs, pg 198). John Daly worked between 1786 and 1809, from the style of the tongs we place them circa 1795. Irish tongs by Daly are probably rare, as they were not recorded by Hodges in the book described above.
A lovely Irish silver torque, hand crafted with clearly visible hand hammered marks. This is a neck torque (as opposed to a bangle torque intended for a wrist). Torques are a traditional Celtic design.
Padraig O'Mathuna worked from the lovely town of Cashel in Tipperary. Cashel is the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster.
Plain Irish meat skewer with flat blade, and shoulder pattern beneath ring. The hallmarks are very clear, note the lack of a duty mark, as duty was only introduced on Irish silver in 1808. Initials VG. Neville was an extremely well regarded Dublin silversmith, who served as Warden and Master of the Goldsmith's Company. He was elected to the Dublin City Council in 1807.
Set of six Irish teaspoons, with an interesting falcon crest, in the Fiddle pattern. These spoons are larger than many other teaspoons (slightly longer and heavier). The hallmarks are very clear on all spoons.
A lovely antique Irish silver brooch in the form of the Irish harp. The harp is decorated with traditional Celtic motifs, in the traditional manner. The hallmarks are clear, except Hibernia who is only partially visible.
Georgian Irish Fiddle pattern sugar tongs, with very clear hallmarks. They also have the original owners initials (W over CW) scratch engraved in 18th century style (not script). Cummins worked from 1813 to 1846, so these tongs were made very early in his career. He worked from 31 Exchequer Street, and his name was also recorded as Cumying.